A Chance for you to keep me playing Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by JackColtman, Jun 14, 2004.

  1. JackColtman


    Dec 24, 2003
    Hello, this isn't a major cry for help, just a minor one, but I realy just hurt my neck in a fit of rage, when I can't get my tone right. I've never had a bass lesson in my life and I know nothing of tonalty theory, by this I mean WHERE THE MOVED TO ON AN AMP OR BASS OR FX PEDAL, and It seems throughout this forum No-one wants to collectivley divulge in there knob settings (thats not an Inuendo). The case Is much different I find with the guitar where amp settings seem to come first. I have no idea how to get a nice bright clear tone on my bass, because I've never been shown what the knobs really do. My has an equalizer set of tones starting and 63 which I believe is common place, I know **** all on how do gain and feel and what even the different knobs achieve. The same is on my bass itself. Its a weird old 2nd hand active samick bass with four knobs, ones volume, I'm certain of that, one opposite volume above it as it were. (the one closet to the strings is voume the one closeset to the neck of the bass seems makes the tone rounder, the one closest to the edge of the bass seems to give more low end and the one closest to the bridge seems to give more high end

    But I have no Idea what there called and what tones can be gained with which combitnations In conjunction with the amp settings , and my aphex xciter, I may really need a teacher, but I cant find one, If anyone is up the task of examaning my setup and giving me what to tweak where to achieve certain tonality apsects, its all theres. I dig clear and bright bass tones, Gedy Lee, Jaco Pasotrius, early claypool, if you would call those bright? anyone want to help me in achieving a tone I like and giving my neck a rest pease help, but they'll have to explain Slooooooooowly, as I'm slightly sick in the head
  2. Ohhhkay... So the one knob on your bass is volume, the one that makes the tone rounder probably is the pickup blend control (rounder would be the neck p/up, other way would be the bridge), and you've got the low and high boost/cut knobs figured out by the sound of it. If you want a clear high end a good place to start would be having the pickup blend selected more towards the bridge than the neck.

    On your amp and other gear, the best way to figure out what the knobs do is just set everything to the middle position and then play around with each knob seperately to see what affect it has. Sounds like what you're after is a tone with the high mids boosted a bit, which would be around 750 Hz - 2 or 4 kHz on your EQ sliders. For the gain, just press in the pad on the amp since your bass is active, and you can set it at around 5 as a starting point.
  3. josh_m


    May 5, 2004
    Davie, Fl
    My head has a 10-band graphic EQ, its sort of a very happy smiley configuration, this is how it looks

    +/-0 +2 +3 +/-0 +/-0 +2 +2 +3 +3 +2
    30hz 64hz 125hz 250hz 500hz 1Khz 2Khz 3Khz 5Khz 8(?)Khz

    The head also has built in high and low pass filters which I keep both at 0. If I am playing almost entirly fingerstyle I keep my compression at 5 or higher, in some caes up to infinity. There are two preamps, one tube one S/S, which I blend depending on the style that I am playing.

    My combo has a 3 band EQ which I tend to boost the Bass (50hz) one knotch. It also has a 5 way style selector (Ampeg) which defines the scoop, it normally keep this flat (selection 3) but I do tend to give it a mid cut on occasion (selection 2 = -12dB @500Hz) or if I need punchier highs ill give it a high boost (selection 4 = +5dB @2Khz+).

    The tone on my bass changes from song to song and on ocassion mid song. I also adjust tone bassed on where I play, I tend to play back by the bridge for slap (call me crazy but thats how I get the tone I like) and up at the neck with my arm gently rested behind the pickup (a hard technique that I can only do right every ones in a while) for a more DB sound. Somewhere inbetween bassed on how it feels. I change my amp levels constantly, I know how I want each song to sound and through playing with the amps and their settings I know how to get the sounds I want.
  4. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    The problem with "sharing amp knob settings" between bass players is that the knob settings are irrelevant if you are using different speaker cabs and playing in different rooms. Bass frequencies behave differently in every different environment, room dimensions, carpet or hard floor, proximity to walls, etc. etc.. Two identical amps with identical settings will sound totally different in different rooms. That is not necessarily the case with guitar amps, since the mid-frequency range isn't as dependent on room acoustics.

    I suggest that you find a local teacher and take some lessons. That way you'll learn the basics of what you are seeking - it seems that you've totally missed the first floor and jumped to the third floor, but without the foundation the building will crumble.
  5. LarryO


    Apr 4, 2004
    You should just quit. No one is going to hold your hand. You have to do research, ask questions, try out new pedals, turn every knob in every possible combination, try different basses, different amps, different speaker cabs, different strings...........Tone is a quest....If you don't have the patience, you'll never get the tone you are looking for. Honestly, it's not going to happen overnight, it takes time and many experiments and then you find it......Then, a few months later, you change your mind.......It takes patience.......get some or give up
  6. Virus


    Apr 16, 2004
    To find out somewhat of stuff does... Try reading the manual and just play with the settings.
  7. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!

    If playing the bass is causing you to have fits of rage, where you injure yourself, you probably should go find something else to do...
  8. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    there must be other bass players in your area you could ask?
    As Eric said, it's all different for everyone. But most people will recommend starting with eq flat, and maxing input gain without it distorting. Then tweak with eq to get the sound you want. Try each eq band on your amp on its own to see the effect it has on the sound. Once you have an idea of that, try combining them (i.e. bass boost plus low mid boost) to get closer to the sound in your head - only you know what this is.
  9. Rumzini


    Feb 14, 2004
    Jackson, MI
    Man O man do I like that quote. With all the knobs I have to lpay with between pre/power/bass and pedals...makes me wonder if I'll ever find just the right one BUT...it sure is fun in the process and I've found a few usable ones for different situations along the way.